24 July 2014

The Devil's Wedding Night (1973)
83 min.
Directed by Luigi Batzella.
With Mark Damon, Rosalba Neri, Esmeralda Barros, Enza Sbordone, Xiro Papas, Gengher Gatti, Giorgio Dolfin, Stefano Oppedisano.
This Italian vampire flick from 1973 isn't as terrible as some would have you believe. (We didn't say it's great, just not terrible.)

A student of the black arts, Franz Schiller (Damon) travels to a small European village searching for a mystical ring supposedly associated with the legendary Count Dracula. Once there, he meets the mysterious Neri, who lives in Drac's creepy old family castle.

Guess what? She's really the Countess Dracula, and she's in possession of said ring herself. She uses the little bauble to conjure up five local virgins every year, and then sacrifices the poor innocents to extend her own immortality.

Talk about an anti-aging plan! At any rate, this obvious riff on Hammer's Karnstein trilogy lacks the class and gravitas needed to carry it all off, but it is good gothic fun, and does have a few moments to recommend it.

Namely, there's a nice moment where Franz awakens to find himself entombed, alive, in a coffin. And there's a weird sequence with Neri bathing in virgin blood.

Oh, and did we mention Franz has an identical twin brother, Karl?

Strictly midnight viewing, Devil's Wedding might just be the cure for those sleepless nights.

Italian title: Il Plenilunio delle vergini. Also known as Full Moon of the Virgins.

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